It is summertime! It is time for vacations, barbecues, and fun; and over indulgence in many things. Too much sun, too much fun; eating the wrong things, not getting enough sleep. It is time for those weekend excursions here and there; more fun and less focus on health and wellness.
Family reunions, class reunions, friend reunions; church picnic, family picnics, work picnics; and more. The food is endless; potato salad, cole slaw, burgers, and chips; banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, cookies, and cake. There is soda pop, sweet tea, lemonade, and many more delicious sugary drinks. Get the picture.
So, how do we stay on course with our health and wellness routine during the summer and keep pace with all the fun activities and events that are available for us to “over” indulge? The operative is to do what you can to not “over” indulge. Indulge, yes; but don’t over indulge. And yes, I know. This is easier said than done. So, I am going to give us a few pointers to help us survive and stay on course for good health and wellness.
First, let’s start with the long, “overly” indulgent weekend. You know how it feels to wake up on Monday morning after a weekend of less-than-healthy eating; no effective exercising. Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight. You may even have other symptoms of “over” indulgence, like a tension headache, an allergy flare-up, dehydration, and irritability. Basically, although you had a great time, you now feel like “crap” and know you will need extra motivation to get back on track.
No worry; we are going to take the fast track back to health and wellness. Why would we start here and not with a pep talk about how to maintain your fitness regime through the summer and resist all those temptations? Well, we are human and most of us have the propensity to over indulge or lose sight of our plan sometimes.
So, your crazy weekend happened; you ate too much at the picnic, even things from your list of “no-no foods”. You drank too much sweet tea and ate too much ice cream. It’s over now. Get over yourself and get focused.
Do not allow yourself to continue to spiral out from your good eating habits. Eating healthy is a lifestyle; not a diet. It is the way to live; not something you pick up and put down on occasion. Draw a line in the sand and tell yourself, “the bad eating stops now.” If your health and wellness is a commitment and a lifestyle, your spurt of over indulgence was the exception, and not the rule. Maybe it was a family reunion or a weekend gathering with old friends, and there were not healthy food options available. Don’t kick yourself too much for this detour. Get re-focused and stay focused. Don’t look back, but press forward. Don’t look down, but look up.
Moving to the Beat of H2O
Now it is time to re-hydrate your body; water, water, good old water. While bad eating can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore balance is to get hydrated.
One of the best ways to get back on track with your healthy eating habits is to focus on getting your body hydrated. You must drink water throughout the day. Start in the morning with a full glass of water and then drink water regularly throughout the day. No, I am not talking about sugary drinks, coffee (this one is hard for me), water with artificial sweeteners or stimulants added, or soda. I am talking about good, old fashion, H2O. If you need a little flavor, add a slice of fruit, some fresh mint, or other herbs or vegetables; something natural. Once your body is rehydrated, you will begin to feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Picky, Picky, Picky
Now it is time to be picky about what you eat. You must know what you are eating and be conscientious, assuring that you are eating the healthiest foods you can. For the next week at least, eat only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and some lean meat. Whole, real foods will quickly help to restore balance. Don’t eat packaged and processed foods. Don’t eat fast foods from restaurants. Don’t eat snack foods and processed lunch meats; nor baked goods or dairy products. Stick to whole, fresh foods and lean meats, fish and poultry. Stay away from alcohol. Stay away from foods high in sugar content.
You can also make your own juice using fruits, vegetables and herbs that have great recovery properties such as fresh ginger, spinach, cucumber, kale, green apple, lemon, and celery. Actually, you can put place a measured amount of each of the items listed above in a blender or juicer to make you a great juice for recovery.
You’ve Got to Move
Now it is time to move. You have hydrated, eaten whole foods, indulged in a recovery drink; moving is the next best thing to do to help you get back on track to health and wellness. If you are a walker, get back to your walking routine. If you are a runner, do the same. If you do not have a regular exercise routine, begin today walking, moving vigorously for at least thirty minutes, five days a week. The key here is simply move, exercise; and one of the easiest ways to do this is to take brisk walks at least five days a week. If you are not able to do this, there are many other ways you can get your thirty minutes of exercise in daily; including walking in place during commercial while you are watching your favorite program on television. Moving is critical to health and wellness. Moving is critical to recovering from your crazy weekend.
Now, I began with the notion that most of us have probably already indulged in some summer food and fun, and need advice on how to recover first. Part 2 of Moving to the Beat of Summer Fun will focus on staying on course with good health and wellness throughout the summer.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Moving to the Beat of Summer Fun! I will focus on staying on course with good health and wellness throughout the
Until then, stay focused.